Shopping is still one of the UK’s favourite pastimes.  Every weekend, high streets across the country are bustling with shoppers browsing what’s on offer.  But what if you’re one of the 11 million people in the UK with a disability?  The lack of accessibility in fashion is a common criticism of the industry.  Now, US fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger has unveiled his new fashion range, Tommy Adaptive.  An accessible collection for fashionistas with disabilities that doesn’t compromise on style.

Democratisation of Fashion

The team at Tommy Hilfiger launched the Tommy Adaptive brand in 2016, originally starting as a children’s line of easy to wear clothing that maintains the style expected by customers.  At the time, Tommy said about the collection;

“Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA.  These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion.”

Since then, the brand has recognised the need for a range of accessible clothing for men and women, the latest addition to the offering can be shopped by Solution– whether you are looking for ease of movement, easy closures, fit for prosthetics or seated wear. The company had the following to say in a press release; 

“As a brand, we made a commitment to inclusivity. Each season Tommy Adaptive delivers a little bit more on that promise to make dressing easier for everybody.”  


Hidden Helpers

Outwardly, the collection looks just like any other Tommy Hilfiger fashion range.  The difference is the hidden adaptions built into the clothes to make them easier to put on, fasten and wear.  These include garments with one-handed zips useful for people who have the use of only one hand.  Velcro or magnetic fastenings are used to replace buttons which can be tricky for some to use.  The line also includes t-shirts and tops with easy-open necklines and trousers with side seam, wide leg openings or elastic waists.

The advertising campaign for Tommy’s latest Adaptive collection focuses on inclusion.  It featured a number of notable disabled influencers modelling the range, including Lauren ‘LoLo’ Spencer, who was featured in our blog, ‘Seven of the Best Instagram Accounts From the Bravest Kind of People’.  The campaign, directed by James Rath, himself born legally blind also featured Mia Armstrong, a young six-year-old with Downs syndrome, Gavin McHugh, a sufer with cerebral palsy and Jacob Santiago, a visually impaired skateboarder.

The Future of Adapted Wear

The collection of the Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive  has so far been successful in the US and it’s inspired more companies to get involved and meet the needs of an often ignored market.

Marks and Spencer developed an easy dressing range for children, at the moment there seem to be no obvious signs of an adult range from M&S but here’s hoping!

More recently, Evie Ashwin, a fashion student at Nottingham Trent University showcased an adaptive fashion range as part of the university’s Graduate Fashion Week.  For UK shoppers keen to snap up some adaptive clothing for themselves, a limited offering of the Tommy Hilfiger’s Adaptive range is available on Amazon UK.

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